One thing that comes to mind is the concept of productized services works better for low to mid-range work. But when you start working for bigger clients with larger budgets and more complex design needs, they rightly demand custom work that is fit-for-purpose.
My work includes a lot of user experience thinking. By definition, that means that every project’s goals and design process must be a little bit different because every client’s customers have different needs. There is no way to package that up into a product when the service you provide is valuable precisely because it’s bespoke.
Certain forms of design work lend themselves well to this structure. A business card, for example, is never going to grow in scope beyond two sides of a sheet of fancy paper. That’s easy to sell as a design product. A complex website or mobile app project, in contrast, is NEVER the same as the last. There are too many variables and unique client needs to possibly confine the scope of work to a pre-defined list. Unless you’re catering to low-budget small businesses that don’t mind templated work with little consideration beyond superficial visual design.
I love that you’re sharing the path that worked for you to grow your business. But I also want to point out that no advice is universal. The type of services you provide and the clients you cater to will determine if productizing your services and expanded through increased quantity is a path that works for your business. Because if it’s not, it could actually be a harmful approach that undermines what makes your services valuable and unique.